The University of Oulu shares the students' concern about their livelihood

Vice Rector Tainan Pihlajaniemi´s speech during the student demonstration at the Linnanmaa campus on Monday September 25. Students peacefully occupied the lobby areas on Monday morning. Students are demonstrating at the Linnanmaa campus in protest against the government's planned cuts targeting students.

Greetings students!

It's wonderful to see that students from all over Finland have united to express their opinions about the government's proposed cuts targeting you.

You highlight our shared concern that the government, with its decisions impacting student livelihoods, intends to undermine your chances of focusing on your studies. According to the calculations by National Union of University Students in Finland, the cuts in housing support will cost an average student household 76 euros, and the freeze on index adjustments an estimated 80 euros per month by 2027. Many students are already struggling to make ends meet.

A decline in income for many could mean that they have to work alongside their studies. Financial worries can also negatively impact mood and the attractiveness of higher education. Thus, these proposed cuts contradict the goals of increasing the number of highly educated individuals in Finland. Students, the leadership of the University of Oulu stands with you. I convey not only my own sentiments but also those of Rector Jouko Niinimäki and Vice Rector Tapio Koivu. They are currently on a business trip and couldn't be here today.

However, we want you to know that we are also concerned about the government's planned cuts, which negatively affect your livelihood and studies. We are also worried about the wellbeing of your generation. We hope that you can focus on learning and developing your expertise, eventually graduating and moving on to the workforce as skilled and passionate professionals. Student life shouldn't just be about hard work; it's essential to enjoy the academic experience.

Finland has almost 300,000 university students. The future of Finland lies in your hands. How you fare determines how Finland fares. Let's hope that the decision-makers hear your voices and make wise decisions!

Last updated: 25.9.2023